The Nationalist People’s Coalition, which was founded by the late ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, has the most number of candidates for the May 2022 elections in Negros Occidental, who filed their COCs Oct. 1 to 8.
NPC fielded 161 candidates, including Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, 1st District Rep. Gerardo Valmayor, Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, and come-backing Mercedes Alvarez, who is running unopposed as 6th District representative, Comelec provincial office records show.
The PDP-Laban (Cusi wing) has 120 candidates, led by its provincial chairman, Alfredo Benitez, who is running for mayor of Bacolod City, and his younger brother, re-electionist 3rd District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez.
The National Unity Party (NUP), led by reelectionist Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, fielded 55 candidates, while incumbent Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia led the Nacionalista Party members, who filed their CoCs, Comelec records added.
The Comelec said 773 candidates are vying for various elective positions in Negros Occidental in the 2022 elections.
The mayors, who are running under the NPC banner, include Melecio “Beboy” Yap of Escalante, John Rey Tabujara – Cauayan, Pedro Zayco – Kabankalan, John Paul Alvarez – Ilog, Irene Montilla – Isabela, Miguel Peña of Pulupandan, who is running for vice mayor of the town, Renato Gustilo – San Carlos, Mayor Gina Montilla-Lizares – Sipalay, and Nicholas Yulo of Bago City.
The PDP-Laban (Cusi faction) mayoralty candidates are Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol, Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr., Calatrava Mayor Marilyn Era, EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon, Hinigaran Mayor Jose Nadie Arceo, Manapla Mayor Manolet Escalante, Murcia Mayor Gerardo Rojas, Salvador Benedicto Mayor Marxlen de la Cruz, Silay City Mayor Mark Andrew Golez, and Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares.
Hinobaan Mayor Ernestro Estrao, who is vying for the town vice mayoralty post, is affiliated with Lakas-CMD, Candoni Mayor Cicero Borromeo, who is also competing for the town vice mayoralty race, is running under the PDP-Laban (Cusi faction), Himamaylan City Mayor Raymund Tongson is seeking reelection under the United Negros Alliance, and unopposed Sagay City mayoralty bet Narwin Javelosa is under the National Unity Party.
Toboso Mayor Richard Jaojoco, who is running for councilor, and his wife, Madonna, a candidate for mayor, are both under the PDP Laban (Cusi faction), while Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca is vying as the second nominee of the Abang Lingkod partylist group.
Also running under the NUP banner are La Castellana Mayor Rhumyla Mangilimutan, Moises Padilla Mayor Ella Celestina Garcia-Yulo, Pontevedra Mayor Jose Maria Alonso, and San Enrique Mayor Jilson Tubillara.
La Carlota City Mayor Rex Jalandoon belongs to the Liberal Party.
For the congressional positions, aside from Valmayor and Alvarez, Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez (3rd District) is seeking reelection under the PDP-Laban (Cusi faction), Alfredo Marañon III (2nd District) and Rep. Juliet Ferrer (4th District) are affiliated with NUP, while Rep. Maria Lourdes Arroyo (5th District) is affiliated with Lakas-CMD.
The incumbent board members, who are seeking reelections, are Rommel Debulgado and Araceli Somosa (NPC), Sixto Pal Guanzon (United Negros Alliance), Samson Mirhan (NUP), Manuel Frederick Ko (NPC), Andrew Montelibano (PDP Laban Cusi wing), Jose Benito Alonso (NUP), Rita Gatuslao (United Negros Alliance), and Jefrrey Tubola and Valentino Miguel Alonso (NPC).
Members of other political parties, including Aksyon Demokratiko, Partido Para sa Demokratikong Reporma, Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan, and Abag Promdi, also filed their CoCs, aside from several independent candidates. — GB